Glasgow's iron age hill fort?

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Re: Glasgow's iron age hill fort?

Postby Grahame » Tue Sep 02, 2014 4:06 pm

jock78 wrote:The term 'Dun' really clinches it as it is old Britonic (old welsh) for 'fort' such as at Dunbarton.

Well exactly! :D

I found the attached map from NLS which shows the site of Dunchatten as a mound even higher than the necropolis and well to the east of it.

Good find! I'm not sure how you can tell heights from that map, but I do wonder if the two hills were part of one large fort, then possibly the entrance was on the south side where the street (presumably Firpark) is shown? That's pure speculation of course, but it would make sense as it would dominate the main road into Glasgow from the east.

Yet if you look at this one from 1795 the whole area seems like one complete hill. This can be seen even more clearly in Roy's military map of 1795. There's just a hint of a gulley visible on both.

I'm not convinced we'll ever find evidence of the hill fort without major archaeological investigation, other than the etymology of 'Dun Chattan'. But that's good enough for me.
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Re: Glasgow's iron age hill fort?

Postby jock78 » Thu Sep 04, 2014 7:43 am

Hi Grahame,
Thanks for your reply and support. I do understand that not everyone is interested in archaeology but the location of this site is so close to Old Glasgow that it makes a great deal of sense to me.

I can understand that the land around the Molandinar and down towards the High street and the Clyde would be the field patterns and dwellings but the occupants would retreat to the fort when attacked - just like a castle in the middle ages.

About heights, obviously not possible but it is clear that the 'Dunchattan' hill was the volcanic plug, with the Necropolis part the 'tail' of the crag and tail formation. 19C plans and OS sheets show that an area running well to the east , including Dunchattan, had been worked out so there would be no archaeology in that part in any case.

What might be possible would be accidental finds within the graveyard, but the most likely would be old bones as there were often
bodies found in the ditches between ramparts such as in Maiden's Castle.

John
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Re: Glasgow's iron age hill fort?

Postby jock78 » Wed Sep 24, 2014 2:34 pm

Hi Grahame,
I looked at Mann's work as you suggested:-

I note that he does Identify Dunchattan, being accessed off the Drygate and destroyed in 1559 ? to build roads.
I would see this as in removing the random rubble of defensive walls and hut circles rather than hard rock quarrying that came later. If you look at cockleroy Fort in West Lothian you can see such material still on site. He also refers to the term Chat or cat being of a martial origin as I have often seen in ancient battle sites - 'Cat coed Kelidon' one of Arthur's battles in a list of twelve by the monk Nennius.

Best regards,
John
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Re: Glasgow's iron age hill fort?

Postby jock78 » Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:36 pm

Found this on a recent 2013 study of Glasgow by the British Geological Society.
This shows a 10m high quarry face near the top of the Glasgow Necropolis which does underline the geological core of the hill.
Looking at the photo, it does not seem like a quarry face as the rock looks very weathered but I am no expert and there was an old quarry to the south of this and a whole range of them running to the east. The report describes the formation as a cill rather than a plug and obviously covered an extensive area.

incidentally, there are lots of other goodies throughout Glasgow in this report which must interest members of the forum and i recommend it as a very good read.

John
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basult cill.docx
quarry in the necropolis
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Re: Glasgow's iron age hill fort?

Postby jock78 » Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:23 pm

Dear all,

In addition to the previous comments, it would appear that I have got the 'Tail and crag' format of this geological feature wrong.
Based on the new detail from the 2013 geological study, it would now appear that the area of the necropolis is actually part of the 'crag' rather than the 'tail' as it is very much composed largely of whin rock with a 10 high metre vertical face near its summit.

As the rock plug or cill ran eastwards for some distance before being quarried, I suppose the'tail' must run either to the north or south.
If the ice movement was the same as that of Edinburgh Castle hill, then the 'tail' would also be to the east such as in the old city and the high street there?

I would be grateful of any input on this as I do see this structure as the early origin of Glasgow rather than St Mungo's early church.

John
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Re: Glasgow's iron age hill fort?

Postby jock78 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 1:36 pm

Just another little bit of information found today on 'pastmap'

Back in 1899 a 'cinerary urn' was found in a quarry just East of the highest point of Firpark Street and right at the location which I have suggested as Iron Age.
This does show that the site was occupied, Iron Age and earlier,- I do not know too much about the find- possibly for cremation remains?

This must have been in the overburden of the whin rock face and very lucky to be found among the rubble!

John
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Re: Glasgow's iron age hill fort?

Postby jock78 » Wed Mar 25, 2015 8:08 am

I attach an old sketch of the Monkland Canal from the old bridge carrying Millburn Street over it.
This must be early 19C or 18c.
It clearly shows that the igneous mound run right up to the line of the Molendinar, now under Alexandra Parade.

The old house shown as a gable-end is where my family lived in from 1941 to 1960- upstairs lived the family of John Lennon a railway guard.

John
old canal house.docx
sketch showing hill now quarried away
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Re: Glasgow's iron age hill fort?

Postby jock78 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 3:34 pm

file mill view.gif
View from mill on the Molindinar


John
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Re: Glasgow's iron age hill fort?

Postby sluddy » Wed Jul 22, 2015 1:26 pm

Hey all,

Been following this thread with a lot of interest as this particular period of Glasgow History is very interesting to me. Jock, i'm not sure if you've seen this image before but I thought it would be very relevant for you:

http://maps.nls.uk/view/91169147

Note that on the right you can see the outcrop for what I presume is now Glasgow Necropolis and the tail that follows it along. I know a lot was lost during the mining of the area, but it seems very clear from this image that there was a steep embankment as per your previous topology comment.

Hope this is useful for your studies.
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Re: Glasgow's iron age hill fort?

Postby jock78 » Wed Jul 29, 2015 7:59 am

jock78 wrote:Hi Grahame,
Thanks for your reply and support. I do understand that not everyone is interested in archaeology but the location of this site is so close to Old Glasgow that it makes a great deal of sense to me.

I can understand that the land around the Molandinar and down towards the High street and the Clyde would be the field patterns and dwellings but the occupants would retreat to the fort when attacked - just like a castle in the middle ages.

About heights, obviously not possible but it is clear that the 'Dunchattan' hill was the volcanic plug, with the Necropolis part the 'tail' of the crag and tail formation. 19C plans and OS sheets show that an area running well to the east , including Dunchattan, had been worked out so there would be no archaeology in that part in any case.

What might be possible would be accidental finds within the graveyard, but the most likely would be old bones as there were often
bodies found in the ditches between ramparts such as in Maiden's Castle.

John


This view is from a mill on the Molindinar before it was culverted- say about 3m below the current level of Alexandra Parade; it shows the mound before is was quarried away in early 19C.

If the perspective is accurate, it would be possibly to calculate height by photogrametry but I am not up to that now!

regards,
John
Attachments
file mill view.gif
view from m0olindinar
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Re: Glasgow's iron age hill fort?

Postby jock78 » Tue Aug 11, 2015 1:23 pm

Hi Sluddy,
I have just looked at a 'blow-up' of the sketch from the south side and can see what you mean now. Sorry my eyesight is not so good but the hill(s) behind the cathedral can now be seen.

If the perspective is accurate, it could be possible to calculate the height of the hill?

I am trying to bring together the possibility of the hill fort with that of a possible roman fort near ' The bell O' The Brae'

Others have postulated this such as John Buchanan and there are references to a Mound - 'The Grummell Knowe' , previously removed at an earlier date.

Glasgow has been guilty of progressively destroying its antiquities in the past!

Keep up the comments

John
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